Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

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Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:24 am

Hi all

Without sparking WWIII, I am looking for some advice on pedal kayaks. The new Hobie Compass looks great and is probably at the limit of what I would spend. However, there are options available, but opinions seem mixed. What I want is:
* Stable - I am a newbie, so staying upright is a must
* Speed - OK, small and stable does not equal speed. However, I suspect most of the smaller pedal yaks will still outpace my 9ft Malibu Stealth, which is like a brick in the water (despite my newly improved paddling technique). Not too concerned about going with the tide and wind, but would prefer something that will get me home a little faster against the flow
* Light weight, but not so light that quality suffers to much - I can easily lift the 25-27 kg of the Stealth, but 40+kg is pushing it. Something I can easily load onto the roof racks myself is a must. The Compass still looks good at this point.
* Reverse..... Now, this is the big debate. This is not an option on the Compass, which otherwise looks amazing. I like to paddle out, try some drifts, but if I find a good spot to lurk for a while and have a cast, this may be beneficial. While tossing an anchor may be an option, is this safe on a yak? Pardon my inexperience! I know there is still the manual paddle to keep the yak in position, but it is hard to toss lures and paddle at the same time. I will actually enjoy mixing up paddling with peddling, as the exercise has been part of the reason I have really enjoyed transitioning into a kayak. This upgrade (from the Malibu) will be loads faster than I have ever upgraded a phone or computer.
* Storage - the Malibu has storage galore. The big live well is amazing. If this yak had pedals, tracked better (it is bloody awful in that respect) and was 30% faster, it would be sensational. All I want to carry is some tackle, personal gear (phone/wallets/keys) and 1-2 rods. The Stealth takes care of where to put the fish, so how do you do this in a kayak that does not have a live well?

Unfortunately, nobody here will have a Compass for an opinion, but the pedal drive is well proven. How have others found the alternative products? I know the reputation of Hobie is amazing and I don’t need to be sold on that, but I also would value some opinions from those that have beenb doing this for a long time. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby laneends » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:29 pm

Compass sounds like a neat unit but keep in mind it is one of the only new models that doesn't have reverse. useful for some, but not so for others. If you are a river fisho tossing lures into snags that can be handy.

All the pedal kayaks you may be considering have good primary stability
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:17 am

Thanks @laneends

Most of my fishing will be done in saltwater rivers/creeks. I would be really keen to hear what people think of the quality of the pedal systems vs the Hobie flippers.
Weight is also a consideration. While lifting a 25 kg kayak on the roof is easy, doing this with a 40kg+ unit may be a struggle. Boat weight with the pedal or Mirage Drive removed is important, as I can at least strip the kayak down before lifting it.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby laneends » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:12 am

If its rivers and creeks then the shorter models should be fine. i have a quest 11 which is same weight and size as a revo 11 and thats easy to do an overhead single lift on the roof. Whereas trying it with the quest 13 , which I also have, risks doing yourself an injury and not recommended.

Rivers and creeks also often have less than perfect launch spots so a lighter unit to drag up and down emabankments is worth taking into consideration

Flippers are easier over shallow water and snags. Given pedal boats have moving parts you will appreciate the availability of spares. So its not just now but is it still going to running smooth in a few years and can you easily get parts when required. This would favour Hobies and natives.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby katostrom » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:55 am

Hi roastman. No actual on water experience yet but just last week I considered the exact same thing with my upgrade from paddle to Pedal. Been paddling a 8' eBay sot cheapy for a few years bass fishing high estuaries, fresh rivers and skinny creeks, perfect little unit for the small stuff and will keep it just for that, but a recent impoundment fish convinced me Pedal could be good too. Like you still need an easy rooftoper plus sliding up/down steep bank entry point kayak, plus about 11 foot length for manoeuvrability. I considered reverse a big plus for all the tight bank and snag casting I do even in bigger rivers - plus wind and flow/tide effect.
Looked at s/hand revo 11 and outback (nice!) then spotted the kingscraft. Long story settled on the kingscraft for size, reverse (a big plus for me), price (new hobie out of my price range) and easy avail new. Atm Dragon kayaks have them for $1500 incl a few goodies (trolley, net and dry bag) , you need to look at their website not the eBay site, so even with freight to NSW was still a very good deal ( no affiliation just a good deal I stumbled across, please delete if not allowed). Arrived about 2 days ago so just set it up and will be trialling the roof loading today, pissing down atm so the actual on water test may be delayed a few days but very keen to give it a test run.
Quality is ok for the price (looks quite good really), plenty storage and features, yes hasn't got all the goodies of the hobie but easily added too if req, weight seems good, 5 year warranty on drive and hull give some assurance and at the price seems worth the risk of new/China source. Will give an update on roof loading (today) and on water test as soon as can . Sorry for long post but your posn/questions seemed to be similar to mine, hope this helps.
Regards
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks Laneends and Katostrom

Katostrom, I will be interested in hearing what you think about the Kings Kraft. The reverse is appealing, but so does the proven quality (from what I have read) of brands like the Hobie. I will be interested about your feedback on noise. Watching the video on another brand, the pedal drive sounded really loud and cheap. It will be interesting to hear what you think of the Kings Kraft.

There seem to be a few options (Perception is another one). Dragon seem to have a good following locally with the Kings Kraft. If the Hobie Compass had reverse, I really would not even be looking at anything else. It is the maximum I want to spend, so if other options are decent, I certainly am keen to check them out. The Perception seems to have the “neatest” drive, as it easily folds away into the hull when you come into shallow water. I think most other systems are a bit tougher to remove and you need to pull them all the way into the kayak?

On paper (and seeing some reviews), the Hobie looks perfect apart from the lack of reverse. My issue is now decising whether reverse is that important, whether I would like to save some $$$$$ and quality of the opposition. I trust the opinion of owners, as if you are selling kayaks and have only one brand, of course it will be the best :grin:
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby katostrom » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 am

Yes on receipt my only immediate concern was the drive unit noise and cheap looking design. From the limited info/picture in the "manual" provided it appears to be a bevel or screw drive gear unit up top with a flexible drive to propellor. Was tempted to open it up for a look and lube check (easily done as described in the manual for maintenance) but given the warranty (provided backup remain avail) and a few test reports read decide to give it the benefit of doubt for a few test runs before investigate further. At worse I have a cheap 11' paddle yak or a test bed for alternate drive substitution, but am really hoping for a better outcome.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:56 am

From videos and Facebook etc, I would suggest you will be happy. One review said the pedal drive on that model is quite tight when new, but loosens up after a small amount of use. Dragon seem to support their products well, so hopefully they will be around for a long time to support the product with parts. Hobie have the benefit of being the market leader in that respect, but other brands (like Dragon / Kings Kraft) may establish the same sort of reputation. Hope it goes well for you and looking forward to some feedback!
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby laneends » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:42 am

If your only concern with the compass is no reverse, and you can stretch the budget a bit enquire with a hobie dealer if they can do an upgrade option swap over. It may not be shipped as standard from factory that way due to reasons of logistics, but dealers are free to offer changeovers to make sales. After all they can still sell a new GT drive. That said though the cost of a reverse drive is expensive.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:38 pm

I’m probably pushing the limits of what I want to spend with the Compass, so changing the drive is not an option. Not sure yet if reverse is a deal breaker. Would love to hear from people who own the “other” pedal yaks, to get some idea of quality. Hobie is my main choice purely based on reputation. My brother owned a twin seater and loved it. Reverse would be nice, but if quality and useability on the other yaks is not great, I would rather stay with a solid and reliable kayak (with proven spares availability etc). My main issue is that apart from manufacturers talking about how good the other kayaks are, the opinions that count the most are actual owners. I cannot seem to find too many people unhappy with the Hobie.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby robdog » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:13 pm

Hi,
Have you looked at the native manta ray propel, I haven't seen one in the flesh but they appear to be a good craft at around $2795 or the liquid logic version at $2395. Prices as quoted online from the Melbourne dealer.
As a current native water craft ultimate 12 owner I am keen to have a look and up grade, the boats are good quality like hobies with dealer back up.
Cheers and good luck
Rob
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:21 pm

Robdog, they look pretty neat. I just found the Slayher Propel 10 on another Aussie dealer, but the Manta Ray version looks even better. Around the same price as the Hobie Compass, with reverse and I believe good quality? Sadly, cannot find anyone up here selling them!
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby Nativeman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:49 pm

I've had lots of Hobie kayaks, pedal and paddle. Yes all the other brands that have the pedal mechanism similar to a bike and this gives you reverse as the change in direction will pull you backwards.

I fish rivers, lakes and estuaries but I have never been a tournament fisherman. So keeping that in mind and that most of us are kayaking for the purpose of recreational fishing, why would reverse ever be necessary if you had all the time in the world unlike a tournament fisherman where you have limited time and are more likely to find yourself in amongst tight structure. If I ever need to go in reverse when on a Hobie I just grab the paddle to do so.

I have tested the kayaks with the rotating pedal method and I felt my knees were more cramped towards my body. it felt uncomfortable to me and for this reason alone I have never bought that style of kayak, but thats just me.

I have used Hobies on and off for years but lately more on as I have found the foot pedal action extremely comfortable and efficient. I motor along in the mid range of my leg stretch as this is where the mirage drive provides the most propulsion. Times when I find myself in very shallow water I make my leg stretch longer so that the Mirage drive fins are still propelling me forward but they are close to the underside of the hull. I have been on sandflats where the water is less than 30 cm deep, still fishing and moving along. I doub't very much if a propellor type kayak would allow you to do this, maybe if you had a paddle in your hand and the drive was up.

Summing up Hobie have a warranty that is second to none, they service their own product and they are constantly improvising in ways how they can make there kayaks better on current kayaks or the following years release.

Good luck finding the right kayak.

cheers
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:50 pm

The Perception Pescador Pilot also looks interesting... Just concerned about the weight of some of these (how easy to lift on top of the car). I can easily lift my current Malibu kayak, but it is only a 9 footer.
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Re: Pedal yak - Hobie/Pedalfish/Kings Kraft

Postby roastman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:54 pm

Nativeman wrote:I've had lots of Hobie kayaks, pedal and paddle. Yes all the other brands that have the pedal mechanism similar to a bike and this gives you reverse as the change in direction will pull you backwards.

I fish rivers, lakes and estuaries but I have never been a tournament fisherman. So keeping that in mind and that most of us are kayaking for the purpose of recreational fishing, why would reverse ever be necessary if you had all the time in the world unlike a tournament fisherman where you have limited time and are more likely to find yourself in amongst tight structure. If I ever need to go in reverse when on a Hobie I just grab the paddle to do so.

I have tested the kayaks with the rotating pedal method and I felt my knees were more cramped towards my body. it felt uncomfortable to me and for this reason alone I have never bought that style of kayak, but thats just me.

I have used Hobies on and off for years but lately more on as I have found the foot pedal action extremely comfortable and efficient. I motor along in the mid range of my leg stretch as this is where the mirage drive provides the most propulsion. Times when I find myself in very shallow water I make my leg stretch longer so that the Mirage drive fins are still propelling me forward but they are close to the underside of the hull. I have been on sandflats where the water is less than 30 cm deep, still fishing and moving along. I doub't very much if a propellor type kayak would allow you to do this, maybe if you had a paddle in your hand and the drive was up.

Summing up Hobie have a warranty that is second to none, they service their own product and they are constantly improvising in ways how they can make there kayaks better on current kayaks or the following years release.

Good luck finding the right kayak.

cheers


Thanks for a very in-depth response Nativeman. I replied to the thread before I saw your post, but your points are very persuasive. One quick question re Hobie please. When you stop pedalling, do the fins fold flat against the kayak hull, or stay pointing down? My reason for asking relates to the pedal kayaks. When you are coming in to land, you need to remove the pedal drive well before you hit shallow water, so you don’t hit bottom. If the Hobie fins fold flat naturally against the hull (apart from when pedalling) it allows you to coast in much shallower before existing the kayak.
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